Three biking days in southwestern Utah

19.10. - 21.10. 2002

Short summary

Early October, me and Gary went to Gooseberry Mesa which was my first camping this year. The nose survived surprisingly well, so, I decided to use up the good weather and come back the following weekend. The main destination was exploration of Little Creek Mountain, a sandstone mesa south of Gooseberry.
I left SLC early Sat. morning and around 2pm go to the western edge of Little Creek Mountain, where I found a nice campspot with a superb view. I jumped on the bike and till 6pm rode the trails on the mesa, which are about 50% slickrock (sometime with complicated orientation) and 50% twisty singletrack in a juniper forest. In the evening I played with my camera during the sunset and then watched a movie on the notebook. A day well spent!.
I spent Sun. morning exploring some more of Little Creek Mountain, mainly so that I put the trail more in the memory and would not get lost there so much next time. After lunch I moved about 300 m. lower and rode JEM trail that starts at the western flank of Gooseberry Mesa and leads down to the Virgin river gorge. Then I followed newly (2002) build Hurricane Rim Trail almost to the town of Hurricane. Here I jumped on Hwy 59 and rode the road back to my car. Then I moved another 15 miles or so to a BLM camp in Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, where I spent another pleasantly warm night.
On Monday I first noticed, that my bike's rear shock is too soft, I think I blew the rebound dampening part on the fast JEM downhill. But, it was still rideable, so, I rode from the campground south about 10 km on the Prospector Trail to another slickrock area, Church Rocks, where is a short (2 km) loop and then returned back on Prospector to the camp. Around 2pm I set for the drive home, and I just managed to get to SLC and see the smog above the valley. The thought that it was a good idea to get out of this mess for three days concluded a weekend well spent.

Fotos and trail maps

Little Creek Mountain

Here is topo mapa (280 kB) and here trail access map. (170 kB).
Also available is an aerial view of the trail on the mesa that I took from the Terraserver website. The white patches is slickrock, black dots juniper trees, red is the trail (approx.).
More info on my mountainbiking page.

foto foto Two of the first slickrock plateaus on the big loop clockwise.
foto foto foto foto The trail as it winds along the west rim.
foto Intersection of the small and big loop, note the large cairn.
foto Panorama north of the vast slickrock area that leads to The Point.
foto foto foto foto foto foto The big loop as it drops into the slickrock canyon and travels through it.
foto foto The trail as it exits the canyon on a slickrock plateau, where I got lost the first day and could not find the way into the canyon from the other side.
foto foto foto foto foto foto foto foto foto foto foto foto foto foto
Some shots from my campsite on the west rim.

Loop JEM - Hurricane Rim

Here is a partial map of the loop (300 kB).

foto Start of the upper J.E.M. Trail with a new sign.
foto Panoráma J-V from poblíž rozcestí JEM a Hurricane Rim.
foto Pohled ze stejného místa k severu.
foto Virgin River gorge as the Rim trail hits it.
foto Eastern Hurricane Rim traihead looking west.
foto Eastern Hurricane Rim traihead looking SE, with a nice rock table.
foto View down into the Virgin River gorge.
foto A look west on the Hurricane river brige from the rim.
foto The Rim Trail climbing up towards the Hwy 59 trailhead.
foto foto Panorama W-N from a "Panorama Point" about a mile from the Hwy 59 trailhead.

Prospector Trail - Church Rocks

Here is map of the area icopied from a trailhead board.

foto Prospector Trail trailhead on the access road to the BLM campsite at the north end of the Desert Reserve.
foto A pipe under I-15 that serves as an access to Church Rocks - probably the most exciting part of the ride around Church Rocks.
foto Pnorama SE from the southern part of Church Rocks area.
foto Panorama NE with a view on the Church Rocks.
foto Prospector Trail as it exits one of the washes. Note cool rocks on the trail sides.
foto View north about a mile from the Prospector Trailhead. Note chola cactus on the left of the trail.

U of U / CHPC / Cuma / Travel / Czech / Little Creek Mountain